Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Moral Dilemma?

After retrieving my son from pre-K, we headed over to Wal-Mart to pick up miscellaneous household stuff: vacuum bags, AC filters, envelopes, etc. Just as I was helping him out of our car, a small black car with dark, tinted windows pulled up next to us. Even through the tinting, I could see a box of Bud Light in the back seat. That wouldn't have been so bad, but in the same instant, the woman driving the car reached back from her seat and put a bottle into the box. I'm pretty sure that it was open and she had been drinking it while driving the car. She quickly got out of the car and headed into the store.

As we left our car and began our own shopping, I wondered what I should do. Should I take her license plate number and call someone? Should I say something to her and hope the confrontation might temporarily keep her from drinking when she got back behind the wheel? Should I just mind my own business?

I must say that I am not the mind my own business type when it comes to these things. People minding their own business leads to children behaving badly, because no one will call them on it. People minding their own business ignore the screaming next door that is more than just a normal fight. People minding their own business value safe cocoons over the uncomfortable queasiness of speaking what they know is true. That isn't me.

I had decided that once we got back to our car I would try to reassess the situation and go from there. Maybe, it wasn't an open bottle that I thought I saw. Maybe, my mind filled in the gaps incorrectly. I would check out the car a little more closely and figure out what to do. I knew our chore would be done in a few minutes and thought that I would be back to our car before the alleged drunk driver.

As we made our way to the Express lane, this same woman got there just before us. She looked around, caught my eyes for a moment, and then ran off to another cashier. Was it because she had seen me glance over at her in the parking lot? Was it just because the line was shorter at the other cashier? I'm not sure. She was gone before we got back to the car. I wondered whether she would be picking up that beer bottle as she drove to her destination and whether she would get there at all.

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